English Premier League: Midweek Review: Match 21 of 38
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The last of the mid-week Premier League fixtures ended with Manchester City managing to reduce table toppers Liverpool's lead over them to a 4-point gap.
In what was slated as the “match of the season”, Pep Guardiola's City edged past the visiting Reds on the back of a Leroy Sane winner in the 72nd minute.
Earlier Sergio Aguero opened the score brilliantly for the title holders in the 40th minute with a shot from an acute angle to the roof of the net. The veteran City striker has scored in all seven of his Premier League appearances for Manchester City against Liverpool at Etihad Stadium.
Roberto Firminio restored parity for the Reds in the second half when he dove full length to head in a looping Robertson cross past goalkeeper Ederson. In fact, Liverpool were unfortunate not to have gone ahead early when Sadio Mane hit the City post and John Stones scrambled to clear the ball just a centimeter from the goal-line off a near-fatal Ederson rebound.
Tottenham Hotspur capitalized on Cardiff City's defensive errors to ram in three and keep their 3rd position on the table intact finishing just a couple of points behind Manchester City's 50 and still 6 behind Liverpool's 54.
Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min scored in the 3rd, 12th and 26th minute away at the Cardiff City Stadium, sealing off the hosts' fate early in the game.
For Chelsea and Arsenal, it was status quo from last week, remaining rooted to the 4th and 5th positions respectively. This was despite Maurizio Sarri's Blues failing to earn an expected three points against 18th placed Southampton, playing out a goal-less draw away at the St Mary's stadium.
With 44 points from the 21 matches, Chelsea are three ahead of Unai Emery's Gunners whose 4-1 win over relegation candidate Fulham still leave some distance away from the top Four.
Manchester United, under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, registered their third win in a row, dispatching off 15th placed Newcastle 0-2 away at St James' Park with goals coming from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford in the 64th and 80th minute of play.
The Red Devils remain in the 6th spot of the table after the Newcastle win with 38 points from their 21 outings.
Meanwhile Leicester City moved smartly up the rankings to the 7th with a 0-1 win over Everton away at Goodison Park on New Years’ day.
The visiting Foxes hung on to Jamie Vardy's first-half goal and handed the beleaguered Toffees their fourth consecutive defeat.
Marco Silva's men, as a result of that, are out of the Top 10 and find themselves on the 11th spot with 27 points, 1 point behind West Ham who have managed to move to the 10th place courtesy a 2-2 draw played out against Brighton at home.
Wolverhampton are fortunate to still be in the 9th spot, having lost a home game 0-2 to a resurgent Crystal Palace. Goals from Jordan Ayew and Luka Milivojevic undid the Wolves, but Roy Hodgson's Eagles need to do better than the 14th spot they currently are in.
Watford, meanwhile, have inexplicably moved a couple of places up during fortnight to a respectable 8th even after a defeat to Chelsea and draws to Newcastle and Bournemouth. Eddie Howe's Bournemouth are still stuck to the 12th spot after their 3-3 draw with Watford at Dean Court on Tuesday.
Fulham and Huddersfield Town still continue to languish at the bottom of the table on the 19th and 20th spots respectively.